With 729 malignant breast cancer cases diagnosed and 184 deaths recorded amongst Bruneian women in the past decade, early detection remains an instrumental cornerstone towards combating the condition.
This was revealed by the Executive Director of the Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre (PJSC) Dr Hj Mazrul Adimin Hj Besar during a launching ceremony for PJSC’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Monday.
“As many of us are aware, breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst women worldwide and also the leading cause of cancer deaths amongst them,” he said in his speech.
Emphasising the importance of early detection as it increases the patients’ chances of survival, he added that, “with adequate diagnosis and treatment… there is a good chance that breast cancer can be cured”.
Meanwhile, if the condition is detected at a later stage, curative treatment may become less effective which could result in unforeseeable complications.
“In some cases where treatment is no longer viable, palliative care to relieve the suffering of patients and their families will be needed.”
“Hence the need to create continuous awareness and prevention to breast cancer,” said Dr Hj Mazrul.
According to statistics displayed by PJSC during the event, more than 86 percent of breast cancer patients were individuals above the age of 40, indicating a higher risk of breast cancer within this age group.
This is apparent as 63 percent of breast patients in the sultanate are persons between the ages of 40 and 59.
The five-year survival rate of breast cancer, referring to the chance of survival after five years of being diagnosed in Brunei, however, is relatively high with 72 percent compared to other countries like China and Malaysia, which stands at 59 percent and 49 percent respectively.
With the launch of the medical institution’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, The Brunei Cancer Centre (TBCC) of PJSC lined up several activities to increase awareness on breast cancer and educate the public on the importance of early screening and treatment.
The activities will run throughout the entire month of October, including weekly talks that will touch on a number issues relating to breast cancer including; busting common cancer myths, survivorship, breast surgery and prosthesis among others.
PJSC will also be organizing a one-day symposium on October 27 titled ‘Breast Cancer: Challenges in Early Detection’ at the RF Level of the PJSC lecture theatre, which will see the participation of international and local speaker specialized in the area.
In support of the World Cancer Day theme, ‘I Am and I Will’, a tree has been set up at the PJSC lobby for the public to leave messages of encouragement and support to breast cancer patients, the survivors and their families.
Present to officiate the ceremony was guest of honour, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Hj Abdul Manap Othman.
For information on the Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the public can reach PJSC through the number: 261333, or follow them on Instagram @pjscbrunei
The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN